do/perform/stage a disappearing/vanishing act

do a disappearing act

To vanish from sight or flee suddenly from a place. My kids always do a disappearing act when I tell them it's time for their chores. The three of us did a disappearing act, heading for the Mexican border so we could leave this all behind us.
See also: act, disappear

do a vanishing act

To depart or go away very suddenly or without warning, especially so as to avoid doing or dealing with something. My roommate loves to throw parties here, but she always does a vanishing act the next day when everything needs to be cleaned up! Brian is nearly two weeks late finishing his sales report—that's why he's been doing a vanishing act whenever the boss is around.
See also: act, vanish
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

do a disappearing act

Vanish, as in As soon as the teacher came outside, Mary did a disappearing act. This expression describes a sudden disappearance as if by magic and presumably alludes to a magician's performance. [Colloquial; early 1900s]
See also: act, disappear
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

do a disappearing act

go away without being seen to go, especially when someone is looking for you.
The suggestion here is that the person has vanished as completely and inexplicably as things vanish in a magician's act.
See also: act, disappear
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

do/perform/stage a disapˈpearing/ˈvanishing act

(informal) go away or be impossible to find when people need or want you: Ian always does a disappearing act when it’s time to wash the dishes.This refers to a magic trick done by a magician in which they make themselves or another person disappear.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

do a disappearing act

Informal
To vanish.
See also: act, disappear
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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